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Biti Vows to Sue Kereke Over U.S $500 Million IMF Cash

February 6, 2014

FORMER Finance Minister Tendai Biti has declared he will sue ex- Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) top advisor Munyaradzi Kereke for slander. Biti told journalists in Harare Tuesday that his hands are clean over allegations of abusing about US$500 million secured from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during his time as Finance Minister. "We used that money for capital projects including water. I think then Water Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo who is here can testify to that. Cabinet ministers were asked to sign agreement forms in the funding of projects under their care," said Biti. Biti is representing Gideon Gono in a Constitutional Court case between the former RBZ chief and his erstwhile advisor. Kereke wants the ConCourt to compel the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate Gono for alleged abuse of authority and looting millions in State funds from the central bank. The Bikita West MP told the court that Biti could not act as Gono's lawyer because "he is a witness and co-criminal". Biti threatened to sue. "On the issue of us having abused state funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDR), we have explained ourselves. "There is no way that I would have stolen under Zanu PF and walked scot-free; they would have locked me up at the first opportunity. I will sue Kereke when the time comes," said Biti. The ex-finance minister provided Wednesday with what he said was a break-down of how he used the $260 million received from the IMF between 2009 and 2012. "The IMF executive board allocated to Zimbabwe SDR 328.4 billion ( $505 million ) of which $411.9 million was under the general SDR allocation of 28 August 2009 ," said Biti. "A special allocation of $93.1 million was escrowed pending the clearance of the outstanding arrears to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Trust Fund (PRGF-TF) amounting to $141 million ". The MDC-T secretary general explained that he had only withdrawn $260 million of the half a billion allocated to Zimbabwe . "The first tranche of $50 million was expended towards procurement of agricultural inputs for the 200/10 summer cropping season," he said. "The second tranche of $100 million drawn on February 23, 2010 was disbursed towards infrastructure projects ( $80.5 million ) as well as support to industry through lines of credit under the Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility (ZETREF) ( $19.54 million ." He added that the last tranche of $110 million drawn on February 24 2012 was also channelled towards infrastructure projects, lines of credit and agriculture support. Some of the companies and state institutions that benefited ,according to Biti, include the Zimbabwe Power Company $10 million while support to industry reached $19.5 million . Marondera Town Council , Harare and Joshua Nkomo International Airports, Parirenyatwa and Mpilo hospitals, Agriculture and Tokwe Mukorsi and Mtshabezi pipeline received a combined $17 million . President Robert Mugabe last year also accused Biti of abusing the $500 million . Kereke claimed the money Biti withdrew from the IMF seemed to disappear without trace on arrival in Zimbabwe . He averred that the Apex bank's external auditors had exposed the theft. "True to their diligence external auditors BDO Kudenga picked that SDR 31,5 million IMF drawing rights valued at $49,2 million had been withdrawn from the RBZ account but without any trace of documentation," said Kereke.

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Source: AllAfrica

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